Arsenal's Hleb is fouled by West Bromwich Albion's Wallwork during their soccer match at Highbury in London in 2006. REUTERS

Former Manchester United player Ronnie Wallwork has been sentenced to 15 months in jail for selling stolen car parts.

Wallwork, 34, pleaded guilty to three counts of receiving stolen goods in Newton Heath, Lancashire.

Police uncovered Wallwork's activities while investigating a series of unconnected armed robberies across the county.

Wallwork, from Failsworth, Manchester, sold a Volkswagen Touran engine and parts from a BMW 318i on Ebay, he was also spotted driving a Mazda Furano into a scrapyard three days after it was reported stolen from a car dealer.

A judge at Preston Crown Court said he could not consider a suspended prison term requested by Wallwork's defence.

"These were high-value items that were stolen," Judge Simon Newell told the former England Under-20 international.

"It seems to me they were taken in a professional and sophisticated way. It also seems clear to me that they were taken to go into the black market either to be sold on or broken down and sol on.

"You proved the facility for that to happen. There was an element of organisation and sophistication in what went on."

Wallwork joined Manchester United as a trainee in 1993 but struggled to hold down a first team place and was loaned to a number of clubs before he joined West Bromwich Albion in 2002.

Loan spells at Bradford City, Barnsley and Huddersfield Town followed before he moved to Sheffield Wednesday in 2008.

A violent attack in a bar, in which he suffered stab wounds to the back and stomach, cut short his career after he made just seven appearances for the Owls.